Presented by Lapham's Quarterly and the Institute for the Future of the Book

Table of Comments

Total Comments in Report: 92

Comments on

I. Assessment

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In addition, the decision to omit any references or citations from the text does not enrich the report. Phrases like “pessimism is pervasive,” should be backed up by some evidence. Was this the authors’ impression? Or is it an assertion based on public opinion polling in Iraq (which does exist), or general anecdotal evidence from the people the authors consulted?

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The use of the passive voice here –”Saddam Hussein has been removed from power”–is peculiar. Besides being a construction that would never pass muster in academia or journalism, the authors’ use of the passive voice here speaks to a general aversion throughout the report to a frank acceptance of American responsibility for initating the Iraq War, for its (mis) conduct, and for the consequences which have and will follow.

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In a more just world, using the phrase “critical to U.S. interests” would be prima facie evidence of “evil intent” and just cause for a session of water boarding at Guantanamo. Just sort of to wash that phrase out once and for all. All it really means is “Western capitalism would like if at all possible to have continued access to cheap oil and if it means a little shock and awe to maintain access to this oil, well, Okay.”